University of Nebraska Foundation announces campus grants

These grants will support student study abroad opportunities and international partnerships.

The University of Nebraska Foundation’s board of directors awarded more than $1.1 million in grants to the University of Nebraska to support student study abroad opportunities and international partnerships.

Taylor Hammack says it may take him years to fully understand how a study abroad experience in China expanded his horizons as an architect, and as a human. He and a dozen other aspiring UNL architects participated in the College of Architecture’s China Program. The program’s goal is to help future architects absorb China’s history and culture firsthand while learning their craft. They worked with their counterparts at Tianjin University in Tianjin, the third largest city in China. For one project, they designed ways to blend and unify three neighboring rural villages.

The focus of this year’s awards was set by University of Nebraska President James. B Milliken, who tied the theme to the university’s current Campaign for Nebraska fundraising initiative and its goal to increase private support for global engagement activities and programs.

Examples of the seven grants include support for University of Nebraska at Kearney’s and University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s study abroad programs; University of Nebraska at Omaha’s academic partnership programs in India, China, Germany and Norway; and University of Nebraska Medical Center’s collaborative research studies in India and China.

“It’s especially important now to have an internationally connected university and students who are knowledgeable about the world, so we’re especially proud of these grant awards,” said Board Director Brian Hamilton of Grand Island, chair of the grants committee.”We also recognize and thank the donors who make these grants possible.”

The following projects received funding:

University of Nebraska at Kearney

$166,000 to support the student study abroad program and increase the number of participants. It funds curriculum development, student travel scholarships and faculty travel stipends.

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

$300,000 to support the third year of the Global Gateway Program. The grant funds scholarship awards to enable more students to participate who have not previously traveled outside the country.

University of Nebraska at Omaha

$293,500 to expand international partnerships in India, China, Germany and Norway. The grant will fund student scholarships and faculty stipends for two-week research visits, provide support for joint courses, short workshops and service learning opportunities, and support international summer research and internship programs.

University of Nebraska Medical Center

$50,000 to support the collaborative study of genetic and immunological features associated with Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes in India. The research seeks to understand prevalence of the disease, develop DNA diagnostic tests and create noninvasive methods for diabetes screening.

$100,000 to support research on the effects of environmental toxins on the health of mothers and infants in rural India. Research is critical, as countries such as India with emerging economies are confronting a rapid rise in chronic debilitating diseases.

$100,000 to support an ongoing and collaborative research program between UNMC and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The grant supports lymphoma research aimed at identifying genetic factors involved in the causes of this cancer; the goal is to develop better treatment and improve patient health.

University of Nebraska Central Administration

$100,000 to support a universitywide study abroad program led by central administration. Students from each campus will have the opportunity to apply for a two-week study in India and Brazil, countries with institutions that have expertise in areas that align closely with NU priorities, including agriculture, water for food, early childhood education and others.

The annual grant resources are made available from unrestricted donations to the foundation. The chancellors submit proposals annually for the grant funds, which are aligned with the university’s strategic framework.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has connected the dreams and passions of donors to the mission of the university for the past 75 years. In 2010, donors designated more than $136 million in gifts to scholarships, academic programs, medical research and other priorities at the university. The foundation’s current $1.2 billion fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, concludes in 2014.

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